In a statement that contradicts actions taken by most governors throughout the United States, the Biden Administration doubled down on mask mandates and demanded that Americans continue wearing masks even if they are no longer mandated by their state.
The New York Post reports that White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki made the comments on Wednesday during a White House press briefing, when a reporter asked “if you are a parent, a teacher, a student living in a state where [masking] is no longer recommended, should you still follow the CDC guidelines?”
Psaki responded simply with “yes,” to which the reporter followed up by asking “even if the state is not requiring that you wear masks in the schools?”
Psaki answered by deferring to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), saying that “this is where we would advise any American to follow the CDC guidelines,” which orders Americans to continue wearing masks in all indoor settings, including in schools.
Despite Psaki’s pleas for compliance, multiple governors across the country, even in heavily Democratic states, have finally begun lifting mask mandates. Among them are Governors Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.), Phil Murphy (D-N.J.), and Ned Lamont (D-Conn.).
Previously, the lifting of mask mandates and other restrictions was limited entirely to Republican-led states, such as Florida under Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.). Although DeSantis faced heavy criticism from the White House, Democrats, and the left-wing media, his approval ratings have remained consistently high due to his actions being widely popular with Floridians.
On this subject, Fox News’ Jacqui Heinrich asked Psaki why the White House was not criticizing Democratic governors who are now lifting mask mandates as heavily as it criticized DeSantis.
“Why are we not hearing the same messaging, criticizing states that are, you know, making these moves like we heard previously, with, for instance, Ron DeSantis?” Heinrich asked.
“Well,” Psaki responded, “I would say there is a distinct difference between standing in the way, which Ron DeSantis did – or Gov. DeSantis, given his full title – of teachers, school administrators and others taking steps to protect the students in their school communities. There’s a difference between standing in the way of it, threatening to pull back funding, and allowing for local school districts to make choices, which is what a number of these states are doing.”
Psaki was referring to actions taken by DeSantis when several county school boards and other local jurisdictions attempted to defy his orders that all mask mandates be lifted, threatening to withhold state funding and other resources from areas that continued to force masks onto its students even over the objections of most parents. These actions were also widely praised by residents of the state of Florida, even despite the mainstream media’s attempts to demonize DeSantis.
Another reporter asked Psaki about how some Americans no longer know whether they should listen to their state authorities or to federal authorities like the CDC.
“Well, our guidance is consistently – has consistently been this,” Psaki replied. “When you are in a high transmission area, which is everywhere in the country, you should wear a mask in indoor settings, including schools.” The reporter followed up by asking if the CDC risks “becoming irrelevant in the minds of many Americans, given that their states are moving along without them?”
“I don’t think the federal experts on health and medical advice should be irrelevant to Americans at a time where we’re still facing a pandemic,” Psaki answered.